English: Let Dai
Synonyms: Let Die, Let 다이, 렛 다이
Published: 1995 to 2005
Authors: Won, Soo-yeon (Story & Art)
Score: 8.501 (scored by 1143 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top manga page.
Popular Tagsdrama psychological shounen-ai
Jun 18, 2010
It reminded me about how fucking difficult it is to live in a world in which you don't matter, in a world that cares nothing about you or your pain and anguish. Despite its seemingly ridiculous and unconvincing beginning, Let Dai becomes painfully realistic and insightful and you start feeling sorry for how much sense it actually makes.
It reminded me about my teenage days, about how difficult breathing was. It also reminded me that the thing we like to call puberty, when we feel all the world's weight on our shoulders, isn't a period in which we come to realize that world is not such a bad place – it is a period in which we come to terms with the way it is, because it's the only way to survive. And we cling to each other, desperately, to our rules and norms, convinced that those are actually rooted in reality.
If this review is not convincing or clear enough for you to pick up Let Dai, I’ll throw in a few more of those cool synonyms I’ve found. Let Dai is alarming, amazing, astounding, astonishing, awe-inspiring, beautiful, breathtaking, daunting, extraordinary, grand, impressive, incredible, intimidating, magnificent, majestic, mind-blowing, moving, overwhelming, , shocking, ,striking, sublime, stunning, stupefying, wonderful,.
I know this might not seem like a review. I guess it’s more my enthusiastic attempt to capture and publicize my impressions on this manhwa, its story, and the themes it deals with. I apologize for the vague and pseudo philosophical nature of this homage.
In the end, I really, really hope that those of you who had ventured to read this whole review will also venture to read Let Dai, because it is a beautifully written, story, poetic, even. And don’t take it lightly. Because it is not just a story about two pretty boys falling for each other.
I have to thank tarator for referring me to thin manhwa. I masochistically enjoyed every single minute.
Jan 23, 2010
At first I thought this was just a story of a gang leader who picks up some random guy and makes him his lover to psyche him out. I was so wrong. It is SO MUCH more than that.
When Jaehee first meets Dai he is the leader of the infamous Furies gang and a terrifying yet charismatic monster. But that is the very thing that attracts Jaehee: his unpredictable attitude and because Dai is everything that he isn't. Their attraction grows more powerful until it eclipses everyone around them. Eventually everything from the most shallow of characters to the most steadfast of relationships is tested because of their undying love.
You won't find any gimmicks here. No cheap conclusions where everything comes together happily and easily. Even plot lines that you thought would have been concluded long in the past come back and rear their ugly head. Nothing is really surprising in the story, there's no OH SNAP plot twists that fly at you like a deus ex machina climax. And, while there are a few moments that you might not see coming, you usually find yourself hitting your head because you didn't realize what was happening sooner. In other words, this story manages to pull off its stunning and emotional quality with its own strength and doesn't rely too heavily on anything that could distract from that.
Likewise, the characters are all true to life. So much so that its painful to see them hurt sometimes. Their interactions are perfectly understandable and, given the context, believable. Every character is enthralling and the manhwa does a perfect job of providing even the most mundane and loathsome characters with development. However, where the characters really shine is in their relationships to one another. We are introduced to so many different types of relationships, cementing the statement that love comes in many forms: from the family structures which are pushed to their brink by rebellious children, to the inexplicable love of Dai and Jaehee, and even the comic yet tragic love of Eunhyung and her would-be lovers. We also have the friendships of Naru and Gohee who bond through tragedy and Yooneun supposed rebound with Dai's older brother. Every one of these relationships is tested somehow and not all of them get desirable conclusions. Keep a tissue box handy.
The art only enhances these characters. Although a little rough in the beginning, it soon evolves to the point that, with just one glance, you can tell the character's deepest emotions. Also impressive is that the characters have unique styles and often change that style based on their moods. Their clothes, their hairstyle are all a representation of who they are and the manhwa really pulls this off expertly by having the characters reinvent themselves in body and soul. This effect may seem jarring, but it only strengthens the characters' believability and shows the versatility of the artist.
Also versatile is the feel of the manga. Themes of suicide, homophobia, rape and its aftermath all get the spotlight. There are brutal scenes of violence as well as quiet moments between lovers. There are explosive family confrontations and heartwarming coincidences that bring friends together. Where there's tragedy there's also hope and where there's hope there's also love. Especially pertinent are the philosophical musings throughout the narrative, which serve to give more insight into the characters and their state of mind.
When it boils down to it, this is a love story, where love is examined as both the greatest source of joy and the deepest sense of pain. The manhwa illustrates this realistically, where even the reader feels the pain and ennui of separated lovers and the ecstasy and satisfaction of reunited ones. It is very hard to get bored of a story like this one and even someone like me, who hates the inner ramblings of romantic monologue, found myself hanging on every line.
There isn't any manga or manhwaa that has left me with the same impression as Let Dai. It drew me into the character's and their stories so that it felt like I knew the characters on the most intimate of levels, yet still left their actions unpredictable and stimulating. Dai and Jaehee's relationship is the most convincing of its kind that I've ever seen in a work of art, and I truly lack the words to describe a love as true as their's. I knew from the moment I got hooked to this story that I had found something very rare- a piece of art that doesn't candy coat love but shows it as the raw, destructive and lasting form that it is. That's why I liken this story to a scar. It just sticks with you as a tragic yet beautiful testament to the trials of love and of life. read more
Nov 18, 2010
The story revolves around the relationship between Jaehee and Dai, two boys who feel an immediate attraction to each other when they first meet. Their first meeting also ends in Jaehee being brutally beaten by Dai's gang. What immediately sets the story apart from more generic takes on the tale is that their initial attraction doesn't go anywhere. Both Jaehee and Dai struggle with their mixed feelings of hatred and attraction for each other.
Let Dai is a fairly long series at 15 volumes and the story is well-paced throughout. The story contrasts nicely between the beautiful moments the two boys share when alone and the troubles they face when amongst others in society. And it also gives time to the secondary characters, not falling into the trap of having developed main characters and nothing else. Each character has their own story, their own personality and aspirations. And they will surprise you, from the comic relief thug turned hero, to the comic relief best friend turned tragic. The ending is so brilliant it literally left me speechless, I had to read it over several times to let it really sink in.
Let Dai is a primarily a romantic drama and it has the habit of being melodramatic and quite over the top at times. Characters over-react and spend many chapters lounging about and angsting. Panning city scapes to lines of poetry may come across as cheesy, particularly when the English translation is a bit weak. However, if you can immerse yourself in the angsty atmosphere and the dark events of the story, they work well.
What made it all work for me was Dai himself. He has that Heathcliff, or Iason quality if you will, of being a violent character, almost an antagonist, who, against all odds, remains sympathetic. The story takes great lengths to show you how and why this privileged young man became what he is.
Jaehee shines as well. Not merely the pure-hearted, kind boy who tries to save the world by being nice, Jaehee realizes through Dai's influence that there is more to life than following rules, that he can be true to himself and still be a good person worthy of his mother's love.
All in all, Let Dai is a truly worthwhile read, not just for fans of boy's love but for anyone looking for a good teen drama. It discusses weighty issues like gang rape, violence, prejudice, sexuality, family and society's influence on the individual's life. It doesn't just gloss over the boy's homosexual attraction to each other, but shows how their families and others butt in, trying to end its 'abnormal' nature. And it does it all well, balancing the highs and lows of life, keeping the story fresh at all times. Highly recommended! read more
Oct 3, 2011
What makes it so great? The art, for once. Breathtaking! Characters, I don't think there was even one character that wasn't flawed; all of them had sides that I did not like. The manhwaka does not let the reader off easy as anyone who reads this story will find out. The story is shonen-ai but overall it shows how impossibly selfish, dominating, possessive and jealous people can become once they are in love or think they are.
Even if this manhwa does not seem like your cup of coffee I still urge you to give it a try.
Feb 1, 2011
The story doesn't focus only on the couple, but on what happens around them, to their friends, enemies, and other people that are in some way important for the plot. While interacting with each other,almost all the characters lose or gain something, thus grow as persons. You stop to wonder are twisted minds twisted indeed, or is society the one being evil? Dai and Jaehee will show you the path of love, hate, jealousy, forgiveness, their points of view on the world and love. And not just them, you get to see the complete picture of the world through the eyes of the youth.
In order not to make any spoilers, it is enough to say that this is one profound work, absolutely worth reading! The art is amazing, given the manhwa originates from 1995. Dai is exceptionally beautiful. Well, I leave the rest to you! I hope you will enjoy yourselves! read more
Apr 8, 2012
Jan 20, 2013
Pienso que es una de las mejores historias de amor que he seguido. Y el mejor yaoi que he leído. En la mayoría de los cuentos chico x chico lo único que importa es la cogedera y desvirtúan todo para que el mundo acepte con naturalidad situaciones excesivamente ridículas. Aquí no. Aquí todo el tiempo piensas que ojalá sean felices. No solo los protagonistas. Todos los personajes van creciendo y desarrollándose, entrelazando sus historias. Aprendes a ver el lado humano hasta de los que parecen horribles y malvados. Y todo el tiempo te la pasas llorando de tristeza.
El final, que yo esperaba terrible, resultó muy consolador. No fue un final rosa, pero fue el bálsamo que permitió que reflexionara la historia y la atesorara. Hay un par de reviews excelentes acá, no creo poder alcanzar el mismo nivel de crítica. Pero los comprendo y estoy de acuerdo en muchos de sus puntos.
Lean Let Dai, con todos los detalles que pudiera llegar a tener, pienso que es una excelente opción. Sea que te agrade o no el yaoi. read more